By Ryan Burton
When Puerto Rico Best Boxing recently announced that they were aligning with Golden Boy Promotions to co-promote a March 15th card in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, it served notice that the island's leading boxing promoter's near-exclusive partnership with Top Rank—Golden Boy's promotional rival—is a thing of the past.
Juan Manuel Lopez will appear on the card in a crossroads bout against Daniel Ponce De Leon of Mexico. Lopez stopped Ponce De Leon in the first round of their 2008 encounter, but views this as a make or break fight. Lopez was promoted by both PR Best Boxing and Top Rank for most of his career but said that he is open to facing fighters from both Top Rank and Golden Boy, or any other promoter.
"Top Rank was a company that we worked with for many years. I am not signed with them or with Golden Boy. I can work with anyone. We have a lot of options. I can fight guys against guys from either company," Lopez stated while insisting that all of his attention is on Ponce De Leon.
"We haven't really looked that far ahead. We are focused on Ponce De Leon but guys like Abner Mares and Jhonny Gonzalez, if they want to fight at 130 pounds (we are interested). There are a lot of good fighters at 130, for example the winner of Argenis Mendez and Rances Barthelemy, there are so many names there, there is the Japanese champion (Takashi Uchiyama) as well. There are so many guys I can fight but first I have to beat Ponce De Leon. Who knows who we will fight next. There are so many options."
The 30-year-old Lopez said that he plans on fighting a smart fight and that he won't be wreckless in the ring. He said that the fans are going to be in for a treat with the overall strength of the card.
"They are going to see me fight an intelligent fight. I am going to be strong and in great shape. It is going to be a great fight card, not just my fight. You have a Puerto Rican in Danny Garcia that has been doing great things. He isn't from here but he's Puerto Rican and I think the fans watching on Showtime are going to get a great show," Lopez told BoxingScene.com.
Send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org . You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter